Choosing an Employee Benefit Plan Auditor
Today, it’s important to understand the responsibility of employee benefit plans (EBP), and to be in compliance with all the laws and regulations that are applicable that fall upon an employer. Employee benefits plans can be complicated enough by themselves, and need a special expert to audit these plans to be in compliance with ERISA and the Department of Labor (DOL). Today, we will look at how to choose an auditor, and the process involved.
Finding the Right Auditor
When you are considering how to choose an auditor you should look for someone who is qualified and is willing to give you a high-quality employee benefit plan audit. This person should have the following qualifications:
- EBP Experience: It’s important to hire an auditing firm that has experience auditing employee benefit plans as these plans are highly regulated by the DOL and the IRS. Although, it may seem like a cost-effective idea to hire someone who has little experience the question arises would you let a med-student perform surgery on you? Point made!
- Advanced Training: All auditors who perform the audits on employee benefit plans need to be either a licensed or certified public accountant and keep up with state and federal regulations.
What Will Be Examined In the Audit?
It’s important to be aware what’s being examined in the employee benefit audit as it should be thorough as possible with an examination of the plan investments to make sure everything is correct. The operations of the plan should also be examined, and the audit should include:
- Review or payroll records for eligibility and that hours are being properly administered.
- Review of participant’s documents to determine everything is completed.
- Review of deposits made by employees in the mandated time frames.
- Review of possible loans and hardship withdrawals.
- Review of required government forms to be in compliance.
You may have further questions about the audit, and you are encouraged to ask the questions you do have in order that the audit is done correctly in its entirety.
Finishing the Audit Report
When your auditor is done with the report, they will issue a report to the state and give you their insights on the plan’s financial statements as well as advice on any schedules that need to be included as part of your annual report. Any problems that were found, the auditor will bring up with you, and they may suggest ways for you to improve your operations and internal controls to make the process easier in the future. It’s also a good time to ask any questions you may have with the audit. Some of the questions that you may want to ask may include:
- Was the employee benefit plan been fairly valued?
- Was the benefit payments were made in agreement with the employee benefit plan?
- Were there any issues with the employee benefit plan that may impact the tax status?
Now you’ve seen the steps involved to choose an auditor for your employee benefit plan audit. Not only do you have to find an auditor with experience but that can offer you with the answers you may have all while providing you with advice to help your employee benefit plan going forward. If you are looking for an experienced employee benefit plan auditor, you can trust that will give you valuable insight and precision, we encourage you to employee benefit plan. Not only do you have to find an auditor with experience but that can offer you with the answers you may have all while providing you with advice to help your employee benefit plan going forward.
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